|Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia|
October 20, 1993
|Appointed by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||Albert V. Bryan Jr.|
|Born||Leonie Milhomme Brinkema
June 26, 1944
Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||John Robert Brinkema (m. 1966)|
|Parents||Alexander Juste Milhomme
Modeste Leonie Milhomme
|Alma mater||Douglass College,
Cornell Law School
(also University of Michigan, New York University)
Early life and education
Of Dutch descent, Brinkema was born in Teaneck, New Jersey. She received her B.A. from Douglass College in 1966 and undertook graduate studies in philosophy at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1966) and New York University (1967–1969). She earned her M.L.S. at Rutgers University in 1970 and her J.D. at Cornell Law School in 1976.
She worked in the United States Department of Justice Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section 1976–1977, and then the U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District of Virginia, Criminal Division 1977–1983. During 1983–1984 she returned to the Criminal Division and worked as a solo practitioner from 1984–1985.
Federal judicial career
Brinkema was a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia from 1985 to 1993.
On August 6, 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Brinkema to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia vacated by Albert V. Bryan. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 18, 1993, and received her commission on October 20, 1993. She took up her post on October 23, 1993.
Brinkema presided over RTC v. Lerma et al. (1995), a case that involved the reproduction of materials owned by the Church of Scientology. Brinkema found for the defendants in most of the claims, and awarded minimum damages of $2,500 for copyright infringement, citing the "increasingly vitriolic rhetoric" of RTC's legal filings.
Brinkema presided over the case of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. When she asked about the videotapes showing the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the government denied their existence. As she sentenced Moussaoui to life in a supermax prison, she told him he would "die with a whimper." She told him: “You came here to be a martyr and to die in a great big bang of glory, but to paraphrase the poet T. S. Eliot, instead, you will die with a whimper. The rest of your life you will spend in prison." Mr. Moussaoui began to respond, but Judge Brinkema continued. “You will never again get a chance to speak,” she said, “and that is an appropriate and fair ending.”
In 2011, she presided over the fraud trial of Lee Farkas, CEO of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker. During his sentencing hearing on June 30, 2011, she said that she did not observe any genuine remorse, and sentenced the 58-year-old Farkas to 30 years in federal prison. She ordered Farkas and six others to pay a total of about $US3.5 billion in restitution.
- Leonie Brinkema Biography, Tech Law Journal, last updated 1999.
- "Leonie Milhomme Brinkema." Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Document Number: K2015128316. Fee, via Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved December 15, 2008.
- "Leonie M Brinkema." Carroll's Federal Directory. Carroll Publishing, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Document Number: K2415008174. Fee, via Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved December 15, 2008.
- Goldman, Jessica. "Moussaoui Judge Minces No Words", CBS News, March 13, 2006. Accessed may 26, 2010.
- "Q&A: Moussaoui trial". BBC News. May 3, 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- Goodman, Amy (December 10, 2007). "Did CIA Destroy Tapes Showing Waterboarding and Involvement of Psychologists in Torture?". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "Judge hits back in Moussaoui spat". BBC. May 4, 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
The judge told Moussaoui: "You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory, but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper. "You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."
- Weiser, Benjamin (July 5, 2010). "Tirade Offers Insight on Would-Be Times Sq. Bomber". The New York Times.
- Matthew Barakat (2009-04-02). "Fed. judge says courts can handle Gitmo cases". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- Protess, Ben (June 30, 2011). "Mortgage Executive Receives 30-Year Sentence". The New York Times.
- Macias, Amanda (March 21, 2014). "The Only CEO Prosecuted For The Mortgage Crisis Is Someone You've Never Heard Of, And Feels Like A 'Zombie' In Prison". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- "RRHS Alumni Association - Class List". Ramapo High School Alumni Association. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- Leonie Brinkema at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- U.S.D.C. Eastern district of Virginia
- Terrorists and Detainees: Do We Need a New National Security Court? podcast of keynote address by Leonie Brinkema at the Washington College of Law at American University, February 1, 2008.